Forklift Safety

Forklift Stability Triangle   

Forklifts are unique when it comes to considering stability. Unlike cars, which conform to four-point stability, forklifts are subject to a stability triangle. Which is calculated as the area within the forklift underside, created by the three lines, which join the two front wheels and the centre of the rear axle. 

Illustration of Stability affected by tilting and height of load


The forklift is stable provided its centre of gravity stays within this stability triangle. What makes the forklift unique when calculating stability, is the varying weight of loads that can be applied to the forks, the height to which this load is lifted, and the motion of the forklift. All these factors vary the position of the centre of gravity and therefore the degree of stability. The higher the load is lifted, the higher the centre of gravity is raised, and less the forklift can tilt sideways before it tips over!

It is important to keep the aisles along which forklifts operate clear of any debris or items like pieces of timber etc to avoid tilting the forklift unnecessarily. Also bear in mind that the centrifugal force will accentuate the tilting effect, particularly when turning sharply with the load held at full mast height.

Which is more stable?  A Three wheeled or Four wheeled Forklift Truck?

The answer is they are the same as they both conform to the Forklift stability Triangle. Remember the triangle is formed from the middle of the rear axle, or in the case of a three wheeled forklift, the single rear wheel.

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Useful forklift facts and useful tips

Delivering your Hired Forklift

It is very important that there is somewhere to park the lorry (ie particularly in London) where access can be a problem, red routes etc. We can get round it by providing a second driver, ie one to take the lorry away while the forklift driver does the job.


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Tips for forklift safety

Which is safer ?

Is a four wheel forklift more stable and safer than a three wheel forklift? They are both the same as they both behave in terms of stability based on the Stability triangle.